PETA Urges New Zealand Government to End Live Export

For Immediate Release:

4 September 2020

Animal Rights Group Calls For Total Ban After Live-Export Vessel Is Lost at Sea During Typhoon

Wellington – Following news that China-bound New Zealand live-export vessel Gulf Livestock 1 was lost at sea during Typhoon Maysa, feared to have capsized with 43 crew members– including two New Zealanders – and 5,800 cows aboard, animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has written to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern calling for the government to ban all live-animal export.

In the letter, PETA acknowledges the government’s 2003 ban on the export of animals for slaughter abroad but highlights the dangerous loopholes that remain, which allow animals to be shipped alive for breeding overseas. “Regardless of whether they are shipped for imminent slaughter or to endure miserable lives as ‘breeding stock’ before being killed, millions of cows, chickens, sheep, and deer still endure long journeys on rough seas – often while pregnant,” writes PETA. “They are still confined to small pens on the voyage and, on arrival, face the concrete confines of a factory farm – surely, the saddest place to give birth.”

Human and other animal deaths at sea are just one of the grave risks live export poses. Even the animals who survive the journey are condemned to suffering, as exposed in 2019, when an investigation in Sri Lanka uncovered hundreds of sick and dying cows in appalling conditions. In addition, animals can carry zoonotic diseases, including COVID-19, making live-export ships a potential breeding ground for the next pandemic.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.

PETA’s letter to Prime Minister Ardern can be found here. For more information, please visit